Review: See.Sense 2.0 Light Set

Bike lights haven't changed much for a long time. Yes, USB charging has made things easier and battery life has got substantially longer; but in essence, they come on and stay on, flashing or constant, and do that until you switch them off again. See.Sense lights represent a significant change in ideas though, and the company that started up on Kickstarter has made a rather cool new bike light, that responds to its environment and to the rider.

See.Sense lights use a combination of motion, light and orientation sensors, to tailor their light output to make you more visible to other road users and to conserve battery life. If you're happily pedalling along a long, smooth and empty road, the light will flash less frequently; if you suddenly have to swerve to avoid a pothole, throw the bike around, or you get passed too close by a vehicle, then the light lets out a sudden burst of flashes to alert other road users to the danger. It's a responsive solution, which seems pretty logical when you think about it.

I was particularly interested in test these lights, having heard about them when the product was on Kickstarter, and then more recently seen them in action out on the road. There's no chance that you won't recognise them out on the road either, as they pump out 125 lumens on the back and 210 lumens on the front (for the INTENSE package), and let out sudden blasts of flashes as a car comes too close.

The lights fit to the bike using simple rubber bands, and the units themselves are quite compact and simple. There are no buttons, and a rubber sealing strap keeps water out of the USB port (I did add a bit more waterproofing around this strap with some Vaseline jelly, to be sure). You switch the units on by rotating them three times; which I have to admit is a little bit odd when you see someone doing it, but reduces the risk of water getting in through a button port.

Once they're on the bike, you just have to let the lights do their own magic. It's worth making sure there are no cables or straps flying in front of the sensors, but otherwise you can let them detect the changes in environment, and react to potential risks themselves.

It is an impressive technology, and it is fantastic to see the light let out a short burst of flashes as you hit a rough patch of road, and there is a risk of swerving round a pothole. It's even better, when a car gets a bit close and the light flashes angrily back at it. Indeed, I have actually seen a noticeable difference in the way drivers react around you; seemingly giving you more room and waiting to overtake. I'm sure that it is helped in no small part by the whopping output of the lights (the rear one especially), but either way, it's a great result to credit them with.

When you've finished riding, park your bike up and after three minutes of inactivity, the See.Sense lights will sense they're not needed anymore and switch themselves off, helping to conserve battery life for the next outing. Battery life is impressive too, at around 12 hours, and charge time is quick at just under 3 hours, so you'll be back on the road in no time.

Overall, these are an impressive new design. There are a few niggles that I think could be corrected, like there perhaps not being the best seal on the USB port, or the slightly odd light activation method. However, these are only very minor gripes, and easily offset by the significant safety benefits that the light set seemingly holds. I reckon this could be the change in bike lights that we've been waiting for.

See more about the See.Sense range at seesense.co (Link)

Comments

  1. Where did you buy them at? Any US retailers?

    ReplyDelete
  2. In the US, you can buy them online from US Amazon and also from Chain Reaction Cycles. See.Sense also ship to the US with free postage from their website.

    ReplyDelete

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